I Feel Like I Hate My Mom! What Do I Do?
By Toni Hoy
Updated August 20, 2019
"I feel like I hate my mom!" At first reading, those are pretty strong words. Depending on what's behind those words, it could be a pretty strong assertion. If you've said or thought that phrase because you were angry temporarily and the moment passed, you don't need to do anything. If you feel like you hate your mom and there are specific reasons behind it, as in this story in Psychology Today, and you feel that way all the time, that's something altogether different.
The reality is that not every mother was meant to be a mother. Every mother shouldn't necessarily be a mother. On the whole, most mothers are very good mothers. Not everyone is blessed to have one of those. When you do have hateful feelings towards your mother, it's important to recognize why it happened, deal with feeling empty inside and work toward healing with or without her.
Situations That Create Hurt And Distance Between Mothers And Children
Many situations can cause hurt and distance between mothers and children. Regardless of the reason, it always hurts.
For whatever reason, some parents are just self-centered, abusive, or neglectful. Parents who struggle with finances, jobs, poverty, or other stressors often mean well, but feelings of being overwhelmed leave little time and energy left for caring for and nurturing children. Mothers who live with mental health disorders often have a difficult time caring for their children. It may be that they've never been properly diagnosed or treated for their mental illness. Perhaps they've been diagnosed and have refused to participate in treatment. Mothers who struggle with alcoholism or addiction may not be able to be present for their children until they've been in recovery.
Whatever the reason, having a hurtful or nonexistent relationship with your mother feels unfair. You may be feeling, "Why does everyone else have the benefit of a loving relationship with their mother, and I get nothing?" or "Why do I hate my mom?" Those are fair questions. They're fair questions that can leave you feeling empty inside and deeply scarred. Your mother is supposed to be the most important person in your life.
How To Deal With Feeling Empty Inside
When feeling empty inside consumes your soul, it's anything but weightless. Emotional emptiness is heavy, and it hurts. Suppressed emotions tend to accumulate and weigh you down even further. You don't have to feel that way.
According to PsychCentral.com, it's not uncommon for motherless children to feel empty inside. On days when you're feeling empty inside, acknowledge the pain, and be gentle with yourself. You have no control over your mother's actions, but you always have control over your actions. So, take charge and start by getting rid of shame and self-criticism. Stop punishing yourself for feeling numb. It will only reinforce your numbness and send you into an endless cycle of sadness.
Take some time to focus on yourself. What are your desires? Your fears? Your hopes and dreams? What changes can you make starting today that will give you more meaning in your daily life and your future?
Different activities have meaning for different people, so set out to discover the best way for you to focus some well-deserved time on yourself. Meditate, walk, journal, paint, or take a long drive through beautiful countryside. Just do something that allows you the time and ability to think.
Does it feel uncomfortable for you? For many people, it does in the beginning. The more you practice giving yourself a little self-care, the more likely it is that feeling of emptiness will start to dissipate.
It sounds a little cliché, but watch your diet and eat a healthy, balanced diet. When you eat an unhealthy diet, you feel unhealthy. Get enough sleep too. It's a lot easier to slump into nothingness when you're mentally and emotionally depleted.
Get rid of any toxic people in your life-even if toxic people include your mother. It will be easier to make room in your life for people who fulfill you and make you happy.
Handling Mother's Day And Other Special Days
When you don't have a relationship with your mother, Mother's Day, holidays, and other special days where friends are enjoying times with their mothers can be difficult. Here are some ways to help you get through those tender days.
Stay off social media channels a few days before and after Mother's Day. It will help avoid a lot of those little pangs of sadness of reading all the special things others say about their moms. Put filters on your email account to prevent Mother's Day ads from getting through. Empty the junk file without reviewing it first.
Celebrate Mother's Day by honoring someone who has been like a mother to you. If you have children of your own, take them out and celebrate you as a mother. Go out with friends and celebrate that mothering that all women have for each other. Donate the money that you would have spent on Mother's Day to your favorite charity or a cause for children.
Vent your feelings through a journal. Stay home and watch the comedies all day.
Now for the tough stuff-recognize that your mom's issues were hers alone. You can't control what she says and does, but you can control your response to it. Verbally validate yourself by saying out loud, "I am worthy on my account. I don't need my mother's love or validation. Accept that most mothers are deserving of honor and respect, but your mother isn't, and that's on her. Surround yourself with people who know your story and will understand and not judge your feelings about your mother.
Healing From A Bad Relationship With Your Mother
Our relationships with our parents are supposed to be the most important relationships in our lives. Unfortunately, that's not the way things happened for some people. One way or another, it's best to work towards healing from a bad relationship with your mother.
A big decision in your healing process is to decide whether to include your mother in your healing process. This is a personal decision that only you can make. This will be the most important time in your life to trust yourself truly. If you feel like it will strengthen you to have her there, consider asking her to accompany you to a counseling session where a therapist can help you sort things out together. Something that makes a big difference in answering the question about whether to include your mother is whether they've done their work in healing from abuse, substance abuse, or mental health disorders. Moms who have worked hard to work on themselves may be more deserving of a second chance.
Always make the best decision for yourself based on your needs. This isn't an attempt to heal her from her issues. Don't feel obligated to ask her to join you on her behalf. During sessions, don't feel obligated to protect her from the issues that brought you to this juncture.
Including Your Mother In The Healing Process
If you believe that it will be helpful for you to invite your mother to all or part of your counseling sessions, choose your time to broach the subject wisely. Do it in person and pick a time when the mood is calm, and there are few distractions. Try to anticipate her response. Tell her that you have compassion for her and the things that led up to how she parented you. Let her know that it's time for you to work on your healing. Assure her that it's not your intent to blame her or shame her. Your only goal is to air the issue and be able to move forward in an emotionally healthy way.
You can try to have healing discussions on your own, but a therapist will provide a safe space where both of you feel comfortable sharing in an honest, genuine way.
If you think there's a possibility that you can heal from your wounded relationship together, it's worth taking a chance on. You both have much to gain if it works. If it doesn't work, you have nothing to lose that you haven't lost already.
Working On The Healing Process Alone
If you're convinced that your mother can't join you in a therapy session successfully, you're probably right. If she's the kind of person who will deny it or say that you're just blowing things out of proportion, a therapy session will probably not be productive. If you suspect that she'll only say something abusive, twist your words, use past situations against you, or blow up, there's no point in trying it. It's okay to move forward towards healing without her. Put your energy into healing yourself from your pain. There are no wrong answers as you pursue healing through therapy. You must move forward in the way that's best for you.
Finding a licensed therapist is easier than you might think. Reach out to ReGain and asked to be matched with a therapist today.